Barton Goldsmith: How To Stay In Emotional Balance

Barton Goldsmith Tribune News Service WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Psychotherapist Dr. Barton Goldsmith shares his best techniques to help you prioritize and care for your mental health. Tribune The first thing to understand about emotional balance is that to keep it, you have to be constantly moving, but it’s inner movement, not break dancing. If you seek peace of mind, please know that it requires continual practice, but once you learn the basics, the practice becomes a valued part of your lifestyle. Isn’t it interesting, how you can wake up in the morning and just by opening your phone, your entire world can be thrown off-balance? It doesn’t matter if the news is personal, political or pandemic-related; it’s a little tricky to stay in a good place when the world is throwing all this stuff at us. The best time to practice rebalancing is when you first feel yourself getting off-kilter. But that’s often a very difficult moment, and so you’ll be better off if you have prepared yourself by engaging in emotional-balancing techniques before one of those big curve balls gets thrown at you. Visualization and meditation are two great tools to start with, and they can not only help you rebalance but also move your life forward and even add years to it. The best way to begin is to just listen to some meditative music for 30 minutes. You don’t have to think about anything, but allow yourself to relax and see what comes to you. When I’m up and active, I listen to Ed Sheeran or the Eagles, and when I need to relax, it’s Mozart or Music for Zen Meditation. There is a lot of power in music, and it really is an easy tool to help you get to where you want to be. The wrong music can also throw you out of balance, so if something that’s playing is grating on your nerves, turn if off or leave the room. No need for you to suffer, and avoiding harsh noise is something we forget that we can do. Another overlooked rebalancing technique is to journal your thoughts. This accomplishes a lot. First you can release your overwhelming thoughts by putting them on paper. Second, it actually creates more room in your mind for positive thoughts to enter. That alone is a wonderful tool to help you stay on the path, and I know many people who journal daily, just because it helps them keep their balance. A third tool is to actively engage in doing something either that you love or that you don’t even like but needs to be done. Yes, these are two different paths, but they lead to the same destination. The goal is to focus all of your energy on creating something new and perhaps changing your current state of mind. It’s not about escaping from your troubles. The idea is to develop a healthy lifestyle and to have some techniques that you can use for yourself when your therapist is out of town. We all go through emotional upsets; the trick is learning to keep them in perspective, get a handle on them, and then use what you have taught yourself to chase them away. (Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.”) Tribune Content Agency, LLC
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